June 22, 2022
Amber Rollins, Director, Kids and Car Safety, [email protected], 913-205-6973
Kids and Car Safety Encourages Caution for Families as Temperatures Soar and Hot Car Deaths Continue
As temperatures continue to soar in the Midwest, Kids and Car Safety joined safety partners Charlie’s House yesterday to talk about preventing hot car deaths and injuries at a press event held in Kansas City, MO. The event was a part of the Kids and Car Safety’s ‘Childproof Your Ride’ program funded by State Farm Insurance.

Since 1990, over 1,000 children have died in hot cars and at least another 7,300 survived with varying types and severities of injuries, according to data collected by Kids and Car Safety. Already this year at least 6 children have died in hot cars. These are not only predictable, but also preventable tragedies.

The majority of hot car fatalities involve children who were unknowingly left by an otherwise loving, responsible parent or caregiver (56%). Additionally, about a fourth (26%) of children who die in hot cars got into the car on their own and became trapped, of which 68% were little boys. Eighty-seven percent of children who die in hot cars are age 3 or younger.

Safety advocates are encouraging the public to take extra precautions with the extreme heat that continues throughout the Midwest and any time they’re experiencing a change in routine. Families can create habits to protect their children using Kids and Car Safety’s Look Before You Lock safety checklist.
Amber Rollins, Director of Kids and Car Safety demonstrated what to do if you see a child alone in a vehicle at the event during a window breaking demonstration. She explained, “Vehicles can become deadly for children in a matter of minutes. If you see a child alone in a vehicle, call 911 immediately. If the child is in distress remove them from the vehicle right away by any means necessary and cool them down as quickly as possible.”

Kids and Car Safety offers the emergency safety tools used in the demonstration on their website to make the rescue of a child trapped in a hot car simple and quick. Good Samaritan laws in both Kansas and Missouri protect the rescuer who breaks a window to rescue a child. The Kansas law also includes adults or pets who are in distress.
In November 2021, IIJA was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden. It includes a provision that addresses hot car tragedies by requiring an ‘audio and visual reminder alert to check the back seat’ in new passenger vehicles. Unfortunately, the provision does not specify the requirement for the system to detect a child alone in a vehicle. Without detection, a system will be inadequate. A reminder alert alone falls short of what is needed to prevent hot car deaths and injuries and creates a false sense of security for families.
The differences between simple rear seat reminder systems and effective occupant detection systems could quite literally mean the difference between life and death. It is now up to U.S. DOT and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue a technology standard will address hot car tragedies in a comprehensive manner which must include occupant detection within the 2-year time period required in the IIJA without delay.
Occupant detection and alert technology costing less than $50 is currently available and provides comprehensive and compelling solutions to end these senseless tragedies.
As the organization continues to push for technology in all vehicles, Kids and Car Safety invites you to join in raising awareness in your community today and throughout the summer. Below are resources from the event today to help educate the public. Three brand new hot car PSAs are available for use by the media and others.

Hot Car Dangers Fact Sheet

Kids and Car Safety Hot Car PSA videos:
Child unknowingly left in car -
Child gets into car on own -
What to do if you see a child alone in a vehicle -

What to do if you see a child alone in a vehicle? (written instructions)

Hot Car Technology Current State of Affairs

Technology video:

State Laws